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Climate Change, Nation-States, and The Greatest National Security Threat w/ Anatol Lieven – Source – Parallax Views

On this edition of Parallax Views, we are hot off the 2021 United Nations Climate Change Conference aka COP26. Joining us in light of this is Prof. Anatol Lieven, a Senior Fellow at the Quincy Institute and a former academic at King’s College in London. According to Lieven, in a new report he authored, climate change is our greatest national security threat. We discuss this and his book Climate Change and the Nation State: The Case for Nationalism (which, as you’ll hear in the conversation in this episode I prefer the alternative British title of Climate Change and the Nation State: The Realist Case). In this conversation we discuss how Lieven became interested in climate change as someone who came out of security studies; civic nationalism and/or patriotism vs. ethno-nationalism, legitimate concerns over the concept and idea of nationalism, the need to reject ethno-nationalism, Lieven’s critique of cultural individualism and Reagan/Thatcher-style politics, Lieven’s criticism of power elites and especially Pentagon/military elites, Lieven’s criticisms of how the Left approaches climate change and politics, unifying people in the fight against climate change, misconceptions about the Realist School of Foreign Policy in relation to issues like human rights and ethics, the potential of climate chaos to cause a refugee crisis, the need for international cooperation, the anarchic world system, migration and climate change, migration and radicalization of the right, the need to make individual sacrifices to combat climate crisis, why climate change is a bigger national security threat to the U.S. (and the world) than China, Teddy Roosevelt, the fossilization and atrophying of thought within the U.S. foreign policy “Blob” due to generational strangleholds, Lieven’s support for the Green New Deal, mentioning the failings of the previous New Deal of FDR in terms of how it didn’t necessarily help marginalized people in society enough, conservatism and environmentalism, why conservatives should be concerned about climate change and why it would fit within a broad definition of conservative thought and its intellectual tradition (also how supporting reform could fit into that tradition), the effect of climate change on the U.S. and Western nations already, how technological fixes are not enough in the near-term future, climate change as a threat multiplier, fights over water in places like Darfur, the capacity of climate change to cause food shortages (which in turn have historically caused revolutions, public unrest, and civil war), the need for a “new dispensation” as we saw under FDR, the need for social solidarity, the strains of American nationalism, at this current point only states can be pushed to introduce policies that will address climate change, the United Nations as a body of states, John Mearsheimer’s The Great Tragedy of Power Politics, climate change may bring about the collapse of the nation state system, Lieven’s belief that we cannot wait till the end of capitalism to deal with climate change, the need to reform capitalism at the very least, heatwaves and forest fires in the U.S., sea level rise and intensified storm and storm surged having the potential to causing damaging floods, comparing the U.S. national security elites of today to those of the Confucian elites in imperial China, the need to assess new threats rather than being unadopted to and blindsided by them, the problem of “residual elites” and their concern with “Great Power” threats, the worst offender in the world of climate change other than the Gulf states, the Glasgow summit and what it demonstrates, currently existing technological fixes for climate change aren’t radical enough, the lessons of COP26 and the need for investments into new technologies, the need to invest in storage in relation to alternative energy, the need to research nuclear and fusion energy, carbon capture, tech is not a miracle cure, Biden’s military spending and why Lieven views it as grotesque, America’s radical individualism and the need for a renewal of civic duty, embittered cultural divisions and polarization being whipped up across the political spectrum, the U.S. neglect of Central America, Trump’s hollowing out of the EPA and the threat of Trumpism to the American struggle against climate change, and much, much more.

“Climate Change: The Greatest National Security Threat to the United States” by Anatol Lieven – Quincy Brief No. 18 10/25/21


“Climate chaos: the global threat multiplier of our time” by Anatol Lieven – Responsible Statecraft 10/26/21

“Here’s what world leaders agreed to — and what they didn’t — at the U.N. climate summit” by Lauren Sommer – NPR 11/13/21

Interview: Lawrence Wilkerson – A discussion of tensions in East Asia, and some possible solutions” by Emanuel Pastreich – The Diplomat 12/03/21

Anatol Lieven Discusses America Right or Wrong: An Anatomy of American Nationalism on C-Span

“What do realists think about climate change?” by The Centre for Geopolitics & Security in Realism Studies (CGSRS) 11/13/21

“Abby Martin Confronts Nancy Pelosi Over Pentagon Spending at COP26” – Yoube 11/09/21

“We Can’t Confront Climate Change While Lavishly Funding the Pentagon” by JP Sottile – Truthout 08/18/21

“The Realist Guide to Solving Climate Change” by Stephen M. Walt – The Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs 08/13/21